Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in the world by JSTOR. Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate-jstor/individuals/early- journal-content . JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. THE ART UNION. 79 OUR ART CLUBS. III.— The Society of American Artists. IT is nearly ten years since that famous exhibition at the National Academy of Design, when certain of the younger painters of America made a sudden and unex- pected assertion of their powers which opened peo- ple's eyes to the existence of an entirely new art among us — an art fed from a differ- ent fount of inspiration and feeling to what had erst been regarded as our own. and bred in a different school. CHARLES F. UI.RICH. The new movement, as it has been called, was a declaration of new ideas and new met hod?, neither more nor less, the ideas and the methods being those of the great European school in which its champions had graduated. The result of the new movement was the formation, during the sum- mer after the spring exhibition of 1877, of the Society of American Ariists. In its constitution the new society commences with the declaration, "The name of this associa- tion shall be ' The Society of American Artists. ' Its location the City of New York. Its object shall be the advancement of the Fine Arts." There is something magnificent in the far-reach- ing and chivalric quality of this simply framed declaration of principles. If the society has, for causes which are not a subject for discus- sion here, failed to achieve the end it might, it still did much towards it, and will, with judi- cious government and application of its latent powers, do much more. It has given us some fine and always interesting exhibitions, and no time was ever as ripe as the present for it to re- assert itself and resume the splendid work it set out to perform. The first two exhibitions of the society were its best. In these it made a deep impression oi technical advancement and executive power, and through them it commanded for its mem- bers such respect as is accorded by thoughtful men to men of new ideas. But the impression did not reach the general public, who understood but little of the aims and purposes of the band of young enthusiasts, and naturally sympathized but little with a phase of art that was above them. The society's displays were then, as they have been since, artistic successes, but not popular ones. This year the series was broken for the first time, no exhibition being given; but one is definitely promised for the coming season, and the indications are that the promise will be kept. The roll call of the Society of American Artists is sufficient demonstra- tion of the high quality of the art it champions. With figure painting and portraiture represented by such painters as Walter Shirlaw, Eastman John- son, Wm. M. Chase, Frederick Dielman, Kenyon Cox, Gilbert Gaul. John La Farge, Will H. Low, Abbott H. Thayer, Charles F. Ulrich, F. W. Freer, Elihu Vedder, George de Forest Brush, F. S. Church, Edwin H. Blashfield, C. S. Reinhart, W. T. Smedley, C. Y. Turner, Thomas Hoven- den, E. A. Abbey, J. Carroll Beckwith, T. W. Dewing, Frederick P. Vin- ton, Frank Duveneck, John S. Sargent, Thomas Eakins, George W. Maynard, Douglas Volk, Frank D. Millet and Wm. Dannat, among others, there is not a modern school or a modern inspiration in art which does not find expression in the ranks of the association. When we turn to landscape, we find its claims upheld by such exponents as H. Bolton Jones, Walter L. Palmer, Bruce Crane, Charles Melville Dewey, R. C. Minor, W. L. Picknell, John N. Twachtman, Charles H. Miller, R. Swain Giftord, Homer D. Martin, A. H. Wyant, D. W. Tryon and J. Francis Murphy. The brothers St. Gaudens, Theodore Bauer, Olin L. Warner and W. R. O'Donovan represent the plastic art in its councils. Arthur Quartley, Wm. Gedney Bunce, Francis C. Jones, Birge Harrison, Francis Lathrop, William Sartain, Louis C. Tiffany, Theodore Robinson and J. II. Niemeyer are among the other names of approved merit on its list which we just now recall. If memory serves us faithfully, there are four ladies in the society— Rosina Emmet. Mary Cassatt, Helena De Kay Gilder and Sarah W. Whitman. JONES' H 1 KENYON COX. MASTERPIECES. E was certainly an extraordinary fellow, a man of great talent and of equal ability, but undecided, weak-willed and absolutely without reliance on himself. But how could it have been otherwise ? A life spent in art schools and studios is not likely to make the liver of it a man for emergencies or energetic deeds. For two years he had not painted a picture, but he had been painting on one all that time, lie had commenced it on a panel as big as tr e top of a table, cut it in half and made a recommence- ment on each moiety, only to divide them and cover each of the reduced planes with the same experiment. Instead of one large panel, he, at the end of two years, had eight small ones, all in about the same condition of completion and equally unsatisfactory to him. "I don't know what it is," he used to say, "but there's something about that central figure I don't like, and that window is not what it ought to be, I'll swear." If any professional critic had got sight of his work and criticised it half as mercilessly as he did, I believe he would have murdered him. But he continued tearing himself to pieces, sub- sisting by painting figures and ornaments on sign boards, locking himself up for days together whenever he had secured sufficient money to hire models, but coming no nearer the end of his work after all. It was in vain that we argued with him, in vain we swore the least complete of his pictures was superior lo half the finished works exhibited. They did not suit him, and he pendulated steadily between hopefulness and despair, to-day telling you what he proposed to do when he had made his hit, to-morrow threaten- ing to pistol himself. The affair would have been ridiculous if he had not been a good fellow as well as a foolish one. As it was, we were uneasily suspicious that he might some day carry his threat out, and sacrifice his life as well as his labor to his unrealized ideal. At last he walked into the studio of his neigh- bor, Smeere, one after- noon, and after the j. alden weir.